One of the first novel-length pieces of nautical fiction, MR. MIDSHIPMAN EASY (1836) is a funny and easygoing account of the adventures of Jack Easy, a son of privilege who joins the Royal Navy. The work begins as a satire on Jack’s attachment to “the rights of man” that may try the listener’s patience. But despair not, for the story soon settles down as the philosophical midshipman begins his many triumphs over bullies, foul weather, and various damned foreigners of murderous intent.
Caveat audiens: This novel employs racial/ethnic epithets and religious stereotypes, as well as taking a rather sunny view of supply-side economics. In short, there's something here to offend almost everyone.
Frederick Marryat (1792-1848) entered the Royal Navy as a 14-year-old midshipman. He resigned his commission at the rank of captain after 24 years of service to devote his time to writing. (Summary by Adrian Praetzellis)
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June 26, 2017 Subject:
Lots of fun!
John (Jack) Easy is a spoiled child who has adopted his father's philosophy that everyone is equal - which means he's entitled to take what isn't his, do what he wants, and justify his actions through debate and argument. He signs on as a midshipman in the Royal Navy, thinking he'll find perfect equality on the seas. Fortunately, the captain he signs under is a friend and doesn't have him court martialled, but instead is patient, helping wean him off his father's flawed philosophy.
In an era of sailing ships and state-sponsored piracy, we have a hero who cannot help but get into "scrapes". What results is an entertaining yarn. There's lots of gore (sharks, grape shot, and hand-to-hand combat will do that), but it's offset by lots of comedic situations. A fun story!
Adrian is a wonderful reader.
May 3, 2017 Subject:
Adrian Praetzellis has a unique style that embraces everything from humor and tragedy to a melancholy admiration of the characters in this story. True, he's not the author, but his knowledge of the plot and characters bring a distinct dimension to the story that the words don't always convey. I admire all of Mr Printzaeilis's readings but this one ranks very high on my list of "greats." Thank you. Your work has brought me a great deal of pleasure.
April 4, 2013 Subject:
One of the best!
The other reviews are accurate! A wonderful reading!
June 3, 2011 Subject:
An under appreciated book
I'm a very big fan of maritime history and maritime fiction. I truly believe that Mr. Midshipman Easy is a very underappreciated book. There is so much to learn about the personal experience of naval battles, the personalities one meets at sea, and the experience of Naval officers. Mephistopheles, the African cook, is such an excellent character (and read wonderful by Mr. Praetzellis). I cant say enough good things about this book.
Furthermore, Adrian Praetzellis is such an excellent reader. He puts such time and thought into each of his librivox contributions and it really shows. Its very professional and entertaining, thanks again Adrian!
February 23, 2010 Subject:
This is a great story
Easy is as easy does, would be the motto of Midshipman Easy. Under the poor influence of his father, Easy develops some rather bad beliefs. His search for pure equality sends him to sea, where he learns a lesson or two about equality. Along the way he finds friendship, love, adventure, and success. It is a wonderful story with a happy ending.
The reader did a flawless job. It was professional sounding and a pleasure to listen to. Enjoy!
February 2, 2010 Subject:
A beautiful recording!
A timeless tale of a midshipman's rise in Nelson's navy. Widely regarded as Marryat's best work, Mr. Midshipman Easy is based on the author's adventures sailing with Lord Thomas Cochrane. This classic seafaring tale is a fascinating account of naval life and warfare, of French prisons and love affairs, and of the midshipman's berth. Marryat's ready wit, unforgettable characters, and true-to-life details have earned him praise from Conrad, Hemingway, and Ford Madox Ford, who called him "the greatest of English novelists."
Full of wit, a twisty plot and a beautiful reading by Adrian Praetzellis. Highly recommended!